Challenge:

Ronald McDonald House Dallas (RMHD) is an established, trusted resource for temporary housing for out-of-town families with a sick or injured child undergoing treatment at local hospitals. With daily occupancy exceeding 90 percent, RMHD officials were unable to fulfill more than 1,000 night stay requests from hospital social workers the previous year. In addition, a community needs assessment predicted a 27 percent increase in the pediatric patient population by 2025. The RMHD board and leadership team and its global organization the Ronald McDonald House Charities identified a clear need for increased capacity to meet current and future demands. A capital campaign seemed like the answer, so a feasibility study was the logical first step. So, RMHD selected M.Gale & Associates as its philanthropic partner.

Solution

With extensive knowledge of the Ronald McDonald House organization and its previous philanthropic partnerships with Ronald McDonald Houses in Fort Worth and Little Rock, Arkansas, which resulted in successful capital campaigns, RMHD knew that with M.Gale it had the right expertise and guidance by its side every step of the way. M.Gale provided a variety of services to RMHD throughout the engagement, including:

  • A 90-day planning study assessing fundraising capacity
  • Capital Campaign management for more than two years
  • A development plan and assessment to assist with operational support included in the campaign goal
  • The Community Campaign planning that seamlessly integrated with their ongoing annual support efforts
  • A relationship management program for RMHD staff’s continued work in procuring major gifts

With the feasibility study completed, the “Keeping More Families Close” $11.5 million capital campaign was launched. The campaign’s goal was to raise money to build a new two-story 18,000 square foot wing including:

  • 24 standard size guest rooms
  • 6 long term stay suites
  • 2 laundry rooms
  • 2 family living rooms
  • Outdoor splash pad
  • Expanded parking
  • Refurbished flooring and other needed updates to the current facility to refresh some of the well-used spaces
  • Two-years of increased operational support

Results:

RMHD has a strong reputation in the community, supportive hospital partners are part of a highly respected global organization, and is governed by an effective board of directors that is willing to take risks. The key to this campaign was to re-ignite relationships of past supporters and find new donors interested in major gift support. One lead gift identified during the feasibility study was committed early and set the tone for the campaign’s success. The Crystal Charity Ball named RMHD as one of the 2018 recipients of ball proceeds with a seven-figure gift.

An added boost to the capital campaign’s momentum was a $4.5 million gift from AbbVie Pharmaceuticals to Ronald McDonald House Charities that was directed to RMHD, the largest gift ever to the organization. With the multimillion-dollar gift, RMHD moved construction timelines and groundbreaking up several months and the new wing will open by the end of 2019. To date, the campaign has raised more than $12 million with gifts still being received.